April 30, 2013

Part Nouveau, a revolutionary perspective on the aesthetic revolutions reverberating over the centuries

Lilah Ramzi, in her captivating blog, Part Nouveau, is bringing a fresh contribution – in her own words – to giving credit to what has come before and to identifying of what becomes apparent, after connecting the dots, as an aesthetic based on a deeply human mythology. Here are a few of the most remarkable part nouveau rediscoveries of the young fashion historian.

Part Nouveau

Street style doesn’t seem to reflect anything recent after all. Not an ultra recent passion for our daily look, nor a fashion journalism phenomenon more recent than 1900, as far back as Part Nouveau was able to work its way through. From Edward Linley Sambourne to Scott Schuman.

Part Nouveau

Black, sombre dresses, having as only ornament sheer ruffles wonderfully detailed and finely sown from  XVII century Netherlands have inspired the Valentino fall-winter 2013 collection.

Part Nouveau

Sarah Burton claimed not only the XIX century crinoline for the Alexander McQueen spring-summer 2013 collection, but also the concepts around it – femininity, beauty, freedom and constraint.

Part Nouveau

The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai is a real conceptual and compositional revolution coming from the early 1800s Japan. Today a true paramount of Japanese culture abroad, the iconic piece of art has been included by John Galliano into the design of a Christian Dior couture gown almost 200 years later, in 2007.

Part Nouveau

The elaborate imagery of the Virgin Mary Cathedral in Monreale, Sicily, ca. 1170, was a tremendous source of inspiration for Dolce and Gabbana fall-winter 2013.The Italian designers decided to collage the immense richness of the religious mosaics onto the simplest of shapes, for a truly spectacular effect.

Part Nouveau

The no-heel shoes come from farther back than any of us could have imagined. From the today absolutely gorgeous to the then practical Chopines of the Middle Ages, down to Alexander McQueen, Nina Ricci and Jeffrey Campbell, in 2011. From Venetian women putting as much of a distance as possible between their feet and the ground they walked on – often unsanitary – to the extravagance of the 2010s.

Part Nouveau

Eve and the original sin remain myths ever just as deeply rooted within us. So much, that a Paradise like image has the same impact in 1981, 2011, and, maybe, millennia from here on. Nastassja Kinski photographed by Richard Avedon and Ashley Smith by Giampolo Sgura.

Part Nouveau

Shootings high above in the air seem to also have kept their power over time. They best symbolise a tribute to a city or monument while also subtly underlining the feminine delicateness, at least from King Kong onwards. The main difference between Lisa Fonssagrives in Lucien Lelong over Paris, 1939 and Kate Winslet in Ralph Lauren at New York, 2009 probably consists in the fact that the first one was taken in the Eiffel Tower, dizzyingly above the city, while the second took full advantage of XXI century technology.

Part Nouveau

A childhood dream put with the same level of fantastic and joy into a 1956 movie, Le Ballon rouge directed by Albert Lamorisse, and the Miss Dior Cherie 2009 campaign.

 

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Photo source: Part Nouveau